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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Community organizers strategize next steps after last night’s officer involved shooting

Orgnaizers and supporters meet Saturday morning after 19-year-old black teen killed Friday
Erik Brown
M Adams addresses crowd after shooting of Tony Robinson

Members and leaders of the Madison community gathered across the city Saturday to honor 19-year-old Tony Robinson, who was shot and killed by a police officer Friday evening.

Representatives of the Young Gifted and Black Coalition addressed a packed room at YWCA on Latham Dr. where community members organized to show their support for Robinson’s family and strategize next steps.

“In Madison we are going to win,” YGB member M Adams said. “We are going to win justice.”


Protesters gather after MPD officer shoots, kills 19-year-old black man


Adams also said Madison Police Chief Michael Koval and Mayor Paul Soglin should be held accountable to Robinson’s family and should cover counseling and other services they may need.

The community needs to organize to achieve these demands, Adams said.

“The community and young people are not going to wait until DCI [Division of Criminal Investigation] and MPD decide to be different,” Adams said.

YGB representatives encouraged all to attend demonstrations outside the Madison Police Department held immediately following the meeting.

The representatives also told the crowd there would be a statewide rally outside the Department of Corrections Wednesday afternoon held by Milwaukee Justice Fighters and Madison Justice Fighters.

“There are going to be many approaches that we need to take in order to get justice,” Adams said. “But we cannot abandon the approach of being out in the community, being out in the street using our bodies, our people power to force justice and bring awareness.”

Multiple elected officials including mayoral candidate Scott Resnick attended the meeting.

Resnick told reporters after the meeting it was time to address these types of issues in Madison.

“We said the City of Madison was not New York City, it was not Ferguson, yet many of the situations are playing out the same exact way here in our city,” Resnick said.

Some meeting attendees questioned Resnick’s support of the construction of a new jail, however, and said he was using this meeting as an opportunity to advance his mayoral campaign. Others, however, engaged Resnick in conversation to express their dissatisfaction with the city’s leadership.

That afternoon community leaders and members also gathered at the Fountain of Life Covenant Church to hear a statement from Robinson’s family and discuss how to proceed following Friday night’s events.

After a prayer, members of Robinson’s family addressed the crowd. Jerome Flowers, a relative of the deceased, read a written statement from Robinson’s mother who could not attend the event.

Different representatives from the community addressed the crowd to express their condolences to the Robinson family and their concerns. Many members referenced problems within the black community and the persecution and prejudice black residents face in the city.

Keith Bailey with Milwaukee Matters said he has advocated in the wake of several officer-related deaths in Milwaukee. He said it was time to go to the legislature with these problems.

Community organizer Linda Hoskin said this was a discussion for all members of the community and elected officials needed to keep the black community in the discussion. This should not be a debate dominated by money, she said.

Early Saturday evening, university officials hosted an open discussion at the Multicultural Student Center where students and faculty alike reflected on Friday night’s incident and the broader climate of injustice at the campus, community and national levels.

“The only thing that I know conquers fear is love,” Dean of Students Lori Berquam said, seated with students. “We have to step up to the plate and confront things that are unacceptable. We have to do that out of love, not out of fear or out of hate, to make our world a better place.”

Students at the event, many shedding tears and expressing strong emotions, voiced frustration at the ambivalence of the white community on Saturday and the excuses many offered for the police officer’s use of a weapon. One student asked those gathered why police are always so quick to use guns and not less lethal options.

“It’s hard to cope with it,” Gabrielle Tielman-Fenelus, a student at the event said. “I don’t know where to go from here and I don’t know if anything I do will actually impact the people here on campus. Racism is something that is never going to go away, and is something that impacts so many people, so why is it something thrown under the rug?”

Correction: This article previously misstated the victim’s name as Anthony. According to the coroner’s report his name was Tony. The article has been updated to reflect the change.

This post has been updated.

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